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Blessington students see classroom based activities

A new classroom-based programme called Futurewize, aimed at inspiring young Junior Cycle students to explore a new world of career possibilities through the study of STEM related subjects (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) has been announced.

The Futurewize programme is being introduced in Blessington Community College in County Wicklow. Four second year students Emma Kavanagh, Sine O’Neill, Conor Read and Dylan Duffy from the Wicklow school took part in the launch of the new programme.

The involvement of industry volunteers working alongside teachers will serve to help students make links between their studies and post-school careers.

Specially-trained volunteers will act as role models from the world of work by sharing their own real-life experiences as they work through the modules, which map the four strands of the new curriculum: Earth and Space, Chemical World, Physical World and Biological World.

Jointly-sponsored by Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) and industry partner Fidelity Investments, Futurewize is designed by Junior Achievement Ireland (JAI) and developed for delivery by business volunteers.

The official launch of the programme was attended by Minister for Education and Skills, Richard Bruton T.D. who lent his support to the innovative programme.

Futerwize is looking to the future careers of both boys and girls in Wicklow

A key focus of Futurewize is bridging the existing gender gap in girls pursuing further education and careers in Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths related fields.

The programme will have 60% female participation levels on the course. Schools partners on the Futurewize programme are based across the country in Dublin, Cork, Waterford, Limerick, Galway and the border counties.

Research has identified that ‘fitting in’ is the most significant factor influencing a student’s choice about what to do after school.

Futurewize will help to excite students about STEM, showing them what career opportunities are possible, encouraging them to look beyond stereotypes and to prepare for jobs of the future.

By seeing the relevance of science and technology in their everyday lives, students can start to see where they can fit in to these diverse and exciting fields.

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